Dimples and Jake on Viral Scandal

By now, a week since Viral Scandal premiered, we bet you’re already rooting for the Sicat family and everyone who has Rica (Charlie Dizon)’s back. Deep inside, you cried watching the Sicats’ soft but moving reunion moment. Dimples Romana and Jake Cuenca reacted to that trending scene and shared their thoughts about the show, the message it wants to impart, and more.

In this episode of Kapamilya Chat, Dimples and Jake discussed how that scene was perfected. In that scene, Dimples’ character Kakay, an OFW, rushed home to the Philippines after learning about her daughter Rica’s viral scandal. Kakay found Rica at a friend’s house, looking traumatized, hurt, and scared. She decided to bring her home as soon as possible, and the reunion of the Sicat family, supposed to be merry, turned painfully emotional.

What Dimples liked about it is how the rawness of emotions was enough to connect to the audience. There was lack of dialogue, no confrontation and screaming, just pure empathy. Dimples said she was amazed with the output, noting her chemistry with Charlie even if they’re not yet close at the time.

“Kinilabutan ako in the sense na pwede pala ‘yung ganung klase ng connection between two people who barely know each other. Noong i-shoot namin ang scene na ‘yun, ‘di pa kami masyadong close ni Charlie, eh. Noong nagsimula kami nung first lock-in, hindi kami magkakilala,” she said.

They had to dig deep to paint pure mother-daughter love and the family’s hurt. Jake added that everything came into place from the lights to music and the actors’ performances. He said every member of the Sicat family had their moments.

“Sobrang perfect ng timpla ni Dimples kasi you’re not just dealing with someone who’s dealing with something, you’re dealing with someone who just got raped. You have to be very, very, very careful kasi you don’t want to traumatize the person even more. It’s so perfect kasi you really do need to tread lightly,” he commented.

Dimples also commended her co-stars. There was Miko Raval, playing Dan whose explosive nature suddenly turned mellow when Rica came home. Karina Bautista as Bea saying a single line then slowly reaching out to her ‘Ate’ Rica for an embrace was on point, as well as Louise Abuel as Nico touching Rica’s face and telling the latter “I love you, Ate!”

Then, the Sicat family shared an embrace because at that moment, amid the anger, Kakay knew her daughter needed compassion and a strong support system rather than reproofs. “Napikon si Kakay pero hindi niya inuna ‘yung pagkapikon niya, Nandun siya sa iuuwi niya muna ang anak niya. ‘Yun ang safe haven namin, eh, when we come home first. Ang basa ko kasi doon, si Kakay, ang feeling niya mas magiging matatag si Ikay kung buong pamilya ang yayakap.”

Dimples also appreciates how the script was written, specifically that point where Kakay gave Rica the benefit of the doubt, asking if the act was made with her consent. Then it was interspersed with an intense argument among the Ramoneses to establish the contrast between the two families.

It sure takes a lot of preparation to mount the series. Jake, playing a politician who’s older than his real age, took advantage of the time to look for pegs. He studied videos of politicians, watched senate hearings, reviewed the script and kept a journal.  He said he didn’t have to be in character at all times since they’re not rushing the scenes.

Dimples can’t help but comment on Jake’s delivery as Mayor Troy. “He’s an absolute treat to work with. I want to say hard work but we already know that of him. What we don’t know is how much detail he puts into that kind of work.” She recalled that one time she posted a behind-the-scene photo of Jake before the series’ pilot and viewers were quick to note his resemblance with a popular politician, who people didn’t know was Jake’s chosen peg for his character’s physical looks.

Dimples and Jake went on to talk about fact-checking a viral social media content. Jake had his own experiences of being a trending topic for the good and bad reasons, and what he learned from that is we can’t just swallow what’s being served. “We are blessed with technology kasi pwede nating magamit para malaman ang katotohanan if we just try. Hopefully, later on in life, we figure out na we can’t take everything for face value in social media. We have to dig deeper and figure things out,” he said,

Admittedly, he used to easily believe what he sees on social media. But his experiences taught him that when the subject involved is a friend, he must reach out to know the truth and check on the person instead of just taking in others’ opinion. He appreciates the friends who messaged him to show support and know the facts amid a recent controversy he’s been involved with.

Dimples borrows the old aphorism that there are two sides to every story. The truth, therefore, is subject to whoever is telling his side. “Minsan, we also have our biases. Kung hindi mo gusto ang taong ‘yun tapos may nangyari sa kanya, automatic iisipin mo mali siya kasi hindi mo na siya gusto in the first place.”  But at the end of the day, there’s an Ultimate Judge who sure knows the truth.

Dimples added that it also depends on a person’s mood, “To be able to post something as bitter and as negative as that, you must be feeling a lot of negativity as well. Because anyone who has a free spirit and only feels positivity cannot post anything like that.”  That’s why we must always be understanding and more forgiving of each other because, as written in the bible, what you sow is what you reap and it’s a universal law that applies to everyone whether a celebrity or an ordinary person.

The web is so powerful that when abused can bring negative effects especially to the youth. Jake shared his advice to take social media detox once in a while to avoid distractions and jumping on the bandwagon. “Social media has the tendency to influence how I see things. So, for me, ‘pag nasa set ako as Troy, I like to just stay in my own headspace without any influence except for my co-actors’.”

He added that the pandemic might have limited our perception of socialization to mere social media activities. But nothing beats the authenticity of meeting friends and loved ones face to face. “Let’s not forget how enjoyable the outside world is.”

As a mom of a teen, Dimples noted that the youth today are much responsible and future-driven, so much that sometimes even adults also need lecturing from the them. “Aminin natin, ito ‘yung time na tayo pa ‘yung mas madalas magkamali. Kids look up to us yet we are the ones failing them,” she said, laughing at the thought of her daughter Callie acting more mature than her.

Take, for instance, the youth’s effort to register to vote because they know they hold the power to change the future. “The kabataan we have now is more responsible. I think we should all learn from most of the youth right now because they are the ones who are really making waves in terms of equal rights, mental health.”

Jake butted in, saying even the young stars of Viral Scandal are more passionate, focused, and have bigger dreams. Dimples commented, “We are amazed at how good they are. I don’t remember to be at the same age of Charlie and be that good, and responsible, and hardworking.” According to Dimples, Charlie wakes up at three in the morning to read her script.

So if she could tell something to the youth, it would be: “Just keep doing what you’re doing. You don’t need to change anything unless you feel like you’re being irresponsible.”

Learn more about social media responsibility and other relevant issues as you follow the Sicat family’s story in Viral Scandal, weeknights, on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.

Hang out with your favorite celebrities by tuning in to Kapamilya Chat The Podcast on Spotify, Apple Music, and other major podcast streaming platforms.